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Jul 26, 2020

252 Alike Under the Power of Sin, A Guided Christian Meditation on Romans 3:9-13 and the Recenter With Christ app

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

Romans 3:9-13
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

9 Well, then, are we better off? Not entirely, for we have already brought the charge against Jews and Greeks alike that they are all under the domination of sin, 10 as it is written:
“There is no one just, not one,
11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have gone astray; all alike are worthless;
there is not one who does good,
[there is not] even one.
13 Their throats are open graves;
they deceive with their tongues;
the venom of asps is on their lips;

Meditation on Scripture:

Most of the time I focus on a message of God’s love and this may seem out of sync with that. I recognize the power of this scripture. Many people receive it differently. I know many people who receive this message with shame. It can seem like this is a message of the wrath of God and his anger at us sinners. I don’t think that needs to be our response to this message. This may seem counterintuitive but I think that a recognition of the darkness that resides in us can actually help us release shame. Many times as Christians and those who attempt to follow the master of peace, we feel some dissonance between our Godly aspirations and our heart at times. Each of us have within us the capacity for evil. When we can confess our hearts to God and are open about this there can be a sense of relief that He loves us despite our worst parts.

I recently Read the book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is a compelling story of a man who attempts to create a potion that allows him to split his good will and sinful nature into two different manifestations. Little by little as he gives license to his sinful nature the portion of him that remains good deteriorates. This is what we stand in danger of in life. We have a choice to yield to darkness or light. The evil that surrounds us, or the still small voice of God.

Modern psychological experiments like the Stanford Prison and Milgram experiments reiterate what we see echoed in history and scripture. Even regular people have a terrible capacity. Intimacy before God is an acknowledgement of reality. We don’t need God and redemption for some hypothetical sins but very real ones. Yet here is where the light of God illuminates the darkness. We are are not grateful to God for overlooking some slight annoyances but for loving and redeeming us for profound darkness and an eternity subjected to evil. He provides the way out. We need not remain slaves to sin as we follow Him in faith.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.

Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: How do you relate to the idea of our sinful nature?

Final Thought: I want to mention something in the context of self honesty. For some people who suffer greatly from anxious negative self image the concept of being so blunt about our failings may seem like a black hole from which we can’t escape. If you find yourself overwhelmed by these sorts of thoughts I recommend finding someone to help you work through this. Obviously praying directly to God about it and continuing to meditate on His love for you is helpful but you may also find it helpful to have someone walk alongside of you as you reconcile your darker nature with the incredible and unstoppable love of the God of Heaven. God loves you.

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